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Re: [BKARTS] sewing machine reccomendations

If you've noticed a shadow in the corner for a while, it's been me
lurking, oohing and aahing over the beautiful works on the links
you've all kindly provided.

I belong to a private vintage/antique sewing machine group
(http://www.needlebar.com) and have been collecting and researching
antique machines for over five years. Last count was around 80
including a dozen treadles but many are for resale. Along with the
antique machines sometimes come corresponding manuals and catalogues
which I've been scanning, digitally enhancing and printing with the
aim to bind many of them. Unfortunately I'm deaf so bookbinding
courses are out of the question but many of you have kindly provided
links for me to refer to.

My sewing machine recommendation would depend on the number and weight
of sheets of paper to be sewn together. A domestic Singer Model 201 or
15 would probably sew up to eight sheets of 28M paper while the
industrial 31-15 will sew - at a pinch - 32 sheets of 28M paper but
needs a bit of tension adjustment first. The presser foot pressure
also needs to be adjusted to avoid track marks on the paper from the
feed dogs.

A few don'ts - don't try this on one of today's domestic machines or
you'll probably need to have it repaired the following day. I can't
emphasize this strongly enough. Treadle machines are much more easily
controlled than electric ones. The Model 15 and 201 are quite easily
found at antique stores, flea markets and thrift stores and should
cost less than $150, treadle included.

Today's industrial machines will sew reliably but not only do they
cost several thousand dollars but are built for production, ie. speed,
so may not easily be controlled. Industrial treadles aren't so readily
found and are usually slightly more expensive. My advice would be to
contact industrial sewing machine repair businesses as often they are
happy to get sell what they consider outdated machines lying around.

Helen Scarth
Hamilton, Ontario

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